Answers to questions
CISC primary school has its curricula, and their feature is that they are based on the experience of CISC (students’ and teachers’), and at the same time guarantee compliance with the State Standard of Primary Education, giving more than a regular educational program.
Our program is integrated, which means performing tasks in individual lessons. The student can develop mathematical, linguistic, natural, civic, social, technological and artistic skills and deepen knowledge of familiar subjects and specific topics. Most countries with educational achievements practise similar integration, in particular, NUS is trying to implement the recently integrated approach. As international research shows, integration in primary school is useful because students can better operate with knowledge only if presented holistically, modelling real life, where problems in language, mathematics, science, etc. are intertwined. Our integration is especially effective since it is about CISC students’ real-life needs, their interests, and their lives.
Integrated topics at CISC are called waves, and the process of such integrated learning is called “wave diving”. The CISC identifies 9 waves that change monthly: “We travel”, “Ukraine”, “Magic of the word”, “Art”, “Startups and inventions”, “Space”, “Evolution”, “Ecosmart”, “Agents of change”. These themes are common for students in 1-4 grades, and all primary school students live in “one wave”, which allows the implementation of interschool projects. Still, according to students’ expected learning outcomes and age characteristics in the class, these waves unfold differently.
Each wave diving, as expected, has its deployment process. The culmination of the “wave diving” is the public defence of individual or team educational projects. That is, in addition to subject skills and knowledge, students learn to cooperate, interact in a team, speak in public, defend their position, persuade others, present themselves and listen. Aren’t these skills essential for everyday life?
Students in each class, according to the wave, work with workbooks. These notebooks are changed monthly according to the topic, they often contain surprises, and usually, students can no longer wait to receive a new notebook. And schoolchildren are pleased to see the author’s notebook on the cover of his favourite teacher.
What is the project approach at CISC?
You probably know that the feature of CISC is project-based learning.
And this is not accidental, because the methodology of projects is one of the most successful to show students how to apply knowledge in everyday life and develop essential competencies — subject and life.
Pupils of 5-9 grades at CISC usually work on a project method within all school subjects. However, there are long-term educational and research projects that take almost two months to complete, and students make a special effort to demonstrate their project achievements. Such projects at CISC are called project diving.
According to their interests, the topics of the projects are chosen by the students themselves at the “Project Fair”. Subject teachers organize such “fairs”.
During September and October, children of all grades learn what projects are, plan and implement them, and what is unique about project thinking. Supervisors are teachers of departments who manage students’ projects. Usually, every two months the topics of projects change: October-November — social and humanitarian; December-January — projects of the Department of Development, February-March — STEM-projects, April-May — projects of the Department of Foreign Languages.
Features of project diving:
- “Project diving” are educational projects that strengthen the curricula of compulsory school subjects, allow students to learn more about the humanities, natural sciences or “developmental subjects” on the chosen topic, think scientifically, know interestingly and practically.
- There is a particular time in the schedule (outside the subject) for “project diving”, and such project classes are mandatory for students. Usually, project preparation time is set aside in 7-8 lessons so that the subject teacher can work with students in small groups.
- For projects, the supervisor puts a grade from the subject in the journal, which is equal to the thematic and significantly affects the semester grade. If the project is integrated, there may be several assessments from different subjects. This motivates students to work in-depth on their projects and share the results.
- Each “project immersion” ends with a public defence of the results. Students demonstrate their work’s specific results and how they developed project thinking and the ability to work with information. Then critically evaluate it, interact in teams, present their results — these are important competencies needed for “creators of the world”.
Do you know what the “blue ocean” is and why it is essential for business? Why do we need innovative thinking and how to practice it in everyday life? What is the essence of design thinking and how to develop an innovative product in any field? How to create a startup and promote your business project? How to position yourself and your project? To learn all this, you do not need to sign up for expensive training specifically. These and other important things are taught to high school students in the framework of “professional dives”.
Professional diving is an opportunity for high school students to deepen their knowledge and skills in those areas that go beyond the typical high school education program and gain practical experience in the areas of “Management”, “Communication” and “IT” (optional).
According to mostly concluded programs by training and project methods, CISC students study and practically, under-experienced trainers’ guidance. For example, among the partners of the school in Kyiv is the Higher School of Media & Production “1 + 1”, whose employees conduct classes for high school students. The authors of the program and at the same time trainers in the field of “Management” and “Communication” for CISC_Lviv are teachers of TechStartup School.
Diving training is mandatory for all students in grades 10-11. In the case of fulfilment of all requirements of the curriculum, students receive certificates.
Learning through “professional diving” will require additional effort from students. But the learning outcomes will be worth doing more: the practical skills and competencies needed by every person who seeks self-realization and success, no matter what profession he / she chooses.
CISC is a school where every child is valued, and opportunities are created for the fullest disclosure of their talents and abilities. Therefore, we guarantee each student an individual approach.
What does the individual approach at CISC involve?
- individual support by a tutor/mentor and supervision of each child, student support.
- taking into account the individual characteristics of the child and learning style, ways of perceiving new material.
- learning at the appropriate pace through the division into groups and the provision of multilevel learning materials (in English, for example).
- individual group consultations in case the child needs support.
- tracking individual progress through SchoolPass.
- group support in the classes “Intro”, “Reflection”, “I am a person”.
How does this happen in practice?
The teacher, tutor/mentor observes each child in and out of the classroom, studies their characteristics, personal characteristics and character traits, nurturing values and competencies necessary for life.
The teacher, working on the lesson, considers that each child has an individual learning style, so selects differentiated tasks, offers learning material not only for audio students or students “visuals”, but also for “kinesthetics”. The teacher also practices cooperative learning, which also helps students be continuously involved in the lesson, rather than waiting long for “their turn”.
Some subjects at CISC are taught in small groups according to children’s pace to perceive new material. In particular, this criterion is used to divide students into English language groups. Each group receives appropriate training materials by level.
If a child has missed school for a long time, he or she can seek help from a teacher or tutor and ask for an individual consultation. Besides, in primary school and 5th-grade personal group consultations are provided in the schedule.
During the school year, tutors and mentors record the results of their observations of the child and share them with parents at the end of each semester in SchoolPass. Similarly, at the end of each semester, teachers give grades for the semester and provide feedback to parents about the achievements and successes of students in a particular subject. All documents about the individual characteristics of the child, his / her achievements are strictly confidential.
Students together with tutors/mentors learn to outline their own goals (learning and life), plan and analyze their implementation in individual classes: “Intro” (early week), “Reflection” (late week). Besides, every week, as part of the formative lesson “I am a person”, students learn important things about themselves (practical psychology).
Doing homework is not the most enjoyable thing for students. Especially when the child returns home after a full “working day”, and still has several hard training hours. It is on the one hand. On the other hand, it isn’t easy to learn to speak English fluently if students do not replenish their vocabulary, especially at home (watching movies, reading books, and memorizing new words). Or how to read a great work of art in the curriculum, if not homework for the summer?
Therefore, there are homework assignments at CISC, but their scope is significantly limited because most of the tasks students have time to perform in lessons, in self-preparation classes. For students of 1-2 classes, they are practically absent, pupils of 3-4 classes have tasks, but in the minimum volumes with which they can cope during 1-1,5 hours of self-preparation. The exception is the “family” tasks that teachers offer students to do with their parents to enable exciting communication in the family: for example, to come up with a new recipe for pancakes and try it as part of a wave dive “Startups. Inventions “, to analyze the possibilities of saving electricity at the home meter, etc.
By the way, tutors and mentors at the CMS help parents monitor how their children do their homework.
From the 5th grade, the amount of tasks increases, but most students who work at a high and medium pace can complete them at school.
In grades 10-11, when students are preparing to enter universities, the amount of independent work determined by CISC teachers increases significantly. However, this increases the level of responsibility of students for the results of this work.
After all, one of the benefits of homework is that it teaches children hard work, responsibility and independence.
The school’s primary goal is for children to have enough knowledge, values, and confidence to make choices and shape their future.
That is why the CISC has created an environment where the child is interested in discovering the world: the learning process is built to stimulate each child’s cognitive activity. So that way, children work in teams, receive not ready answers to questions, and explore specific topics and form their conclusions. We believe that if the child asks: “What will happen next?” and the teacher directs the child, sets open tasks, using these or those forms and methods of educational activity, it motivates the child to study not only within the school but also throughout life.
Teaching English in СISC is based on communicative methods, starting with 0/1 grades. Classes are held five times a week (one lesson per day) in all classes. According to the academic standard, teaching lessons in high school takes place in pairs, two classes per day. The native speaker joins an English teacher to conduct a joint oral development session.
Once a week, children in 5-7 grades have a “STREAM course” in English. Children study additional topics in various subjects, perform experiments, create and defend projects. Also, we pay particular attention to the study of mathematics in English.
The school conducts systematic bilingual and integrated lessons, case days, wave diving, project defenses, thematic holidays.
Children in 8-11 grades also have an additional English class as a debate club. High school students regularly participate in various city and international competitions and Olympiads.
The English language is taught with modern educational literature of Pearson, Macmillan, Cambridge, National Geographic publishing houses with a combination of additional textbooks for completing tasks and preparing students for international exams.
At the end of the 1st and 2nd semesters, all students take exams in four main language activities (Writing, Reading, Listening, Speaking with the involvement of natives) in the Cambridge Exams format.
At the beginning and end of each school year, students write Placement Tests, which form language groups and levels. It means that the system of learning a foreign language in the CISC is leveled.
According to the Ministry of Education and Science’s profile program, upon completion of the 11 grade, school graduates must know English at the B2 level. At the end of the 11 grade, the level of CISC students in English only starts from the B2 level. Most 11 graders have certified C1 diplomas, international IELTS, and TOEFL certificates.
STEM education is the basis for training specialists in the field of high technology. That is why the development of STEM-directions is crucial for the development of society.
What is STEM
It is a direction in education using which the natural science component in the curriculum is strengthened with the use of innovative technologies.
Science + modern technologies = progressive technological society
The purpose of STEM-direction in school is to form in students the skills of the XXI century and prepare students for the professions of the future.
This direction can be mastered only through project activities and through the opportunity to learn something new in practice.
STEM is a unique approach to education based on the interconnectedness of all disciplines. After all, while studying the world around us, we do not say: it is physics, it is chemistry, and it is mathematics. Because the world is complex, all phenomena and processes have a logical relationship. The school’s task is to teach children to notice it, look for creative solutions, and quickly learn something new.
The approximate scheme of classes looks as follows:
- Fundamentals of 3D technologies.
- Introduction to the tools of the 3D Builder software. Development of simple 3D models.
- Learning of additional features of 3D Builder. Development of 3D models.
- Design of 3D objects. 3D design of Lego constructor elements.
- Working with the 3D Builder software model library.
- Basics of working in the TinkerCad environment. Creating 3D models.
- Basics of working with a slicer software and 3D printer.
Children learn how abstract scientific theories and facts relate to real-life; learn to analyze problems, work together in a team, find unique solutions, and make discoveries every lesson.
Moreover, children create robots on specific topics, such as:
- Mars rovers, aliens, models of the Earth to the theme of the project “Open space”;
- drawbridges, high-speed cars on the issue of “Techno”;
- wind power plant, an earthquake simulator, robot-cleaner for the eco-project, etc.
CISC has a vision of the student’s competencies that are formed in the school. The formation program is designed to promote the emergence and development of specific skills: adaptability, Helicopter View, critical, positive and project thinking, empathy, communication, creativity.
The program consists of:
- Regular classes “I am a personality” conducted by a tutor/mentor, psychologist;
- Group projects (in particular, volunteering);
- Formation course (classes with internal and external experts);
- Individual conversations of the tutor/mentor with the student (for personal development);
- Special courses according to the interests and abilities of students (in high school);
- Studies selected according to the class/needs of students.
Sports choice: Football + volleyball, CrossFit (fitness), Contemporary choreography, Yoga (stretching).
Emotional-academic choice: Creative studio (handmade, graffiti, sketch), Acting and music studio, IT (programming), Media (blogging, photo, video), Startup, STEM.
Individual and group classes (Ukrainian language + mathematics), self-training.
- Elements of the educational program are also integrated into school subjects.
Програма складається з:
- Регулярних занять «Я – особистість», які проводить тьютор/ментор, психолог;
- Групових проєктів (зокрема, волонтерство);
- Формаційного курсу (занять із внутрішніми та зовнішніми експертами);
- Індивідуальних бесід тьютора/ментора з учнем (з метою особистісного розвитку);
- Спецкурсів згідно інтересів та здібностей учнів (у старшій школі);
- Студій, що обираються відповідно до класу/потреб учнів.
Спортивний вибір: Футбол+волейбол, Кросфіт (фітнес), Сучасна хореографія.
Емоційно-академічний вибір: Творча студія (хендейд, графіті, скетч), Акторсько-музична студія, ІТ (програмування), Медіа (блогерство, фото, відео), Start up, STEM.
Індивідуально-групові (українська мова + математика), самопідготовка.
Елементи формаційної програми також інтегруються в шкільні предмети.
A child is the focus of the CISC psychologist. All the activities of the CISC psychologist are aimed at ensuring the mental health of the child, the state of well-being of the individual, which contributes to the realization of the child’s productive educational activities, psycho-emotional and social development. Psychological support is provided through counseling of students, tutors/mentors, teachers, parents, correctional classes for students, educational activities.
Tutoring and mentoring are carried out to support the quality of the educational process, the value environment, and the principles of school interaction, the development of student competencies, and the emotional support of students.
- group and individual interaction with students (conversations, classes “I am a personality,” class projects, trips, organization of educational space, etc.);
- interaction with teachers (conversations to develop joint solutions to improve learning efficiency);
- interaction with parents (informing parents about the life of the class through the defined communication channels; conversations with the student’s parents to inform and develop joint decisions; organization of parent meetings of the class, etc.).
The Security and Personal Protection Policy, or Anti-Bullying Policy, is a document that regulates the behavioral strategy of all those who are on the territory of the CISC and observe violent behavior or suffer from it.
– All CISC employees without exception are acquainted with the document.
– At the beginning of each school year, we organize training for employees to enhance knowledge of the Policy and the ability to use it.
– Every year in September, classes are held for students of CISC to train the skills to talk about what they do not like, stop violence against others, seek help from an adult, etc.
How are conflicts resolved?
One of the principles of interaction of CISC: “CISC — is the territory of friends.” It is closely linked to the CISC value as respect. We learn and encourage attentiveness, empathy, and non-violent communication. Accordingly, we resolve conflicts by clarifying each other’s needs and looking for ways to meet them, taking into account each party’s interests.
The educational and formative program of the preparatory class includes classes that prepare the child for school (“Sweet reading,” I’m learning to write, “Interesting mathematics, “English,” Lego”); mandatory groups-studios in modeling, chess, creative workshop, choreography, aikido, etc. Besides, children will learn to understand themselves in the classes “I am a person,” “I am healthy and happy,” to implement research and art projects. And yet – to dream and fantasize during daily walks and free play.
“Dream freely, act confidently” is the task of the CISC primary school’s educational and formation program. Students of elementary school study a unique method of “wave diving,” which helps enhance the child’s knowledge and see the world. Students conduct experiments on the “Kaleidoscope of Sciences,” speak English and a second foreign language of choice (from the third grade), implement research and art projects, have classes in logic, chess, robotics, financial literacy, creative workshop, choreography, aikido, and others. Students have the opportunity to study in the studio, “I am a traveler.” Even the usual classes take place using non-traditional methods of edutainment and storytelling.
At the heart of the educational and formative program of CISC for 5-9 grades are project immersions, aiming to develop student’s project thinking in each subject. Students learn English in-depth, mainly through a compulsory STREAM activity approach, an English-language debate club, and a native-speaking conversational club.
Thanks to innovative methods and increasing the number of hours in Ukrainian language and mathematics, students can develop relevant competencies. In the afternoon, students choose study groups (according to needs), learn to set goals, and reflect, building their educational trajectory.
In high school, CISC provides an opportunity to prepare for the EIE / admission to universities. High school students have pairs, in the 10 grade, they concentrate on the implementation of curricula for 10-11 grades, and in the 11 grade, they work hard in small groups to prepare for admission.
Students study English in depth according to modern international methods, the number of teaching hours in mathematics has been increased. As part of the educational program, students have a choice of individual vocational courses in project management, programming, entrepreneurship, online communications, etc. by areas: “Technology,” “Management,” “Communications.”
Children learn English from the first grade. From the third grade, every child can learn French, German, or Spanish (Kyiv) as a second foreign language.
Creativity within the framework of CISC aims to form in the student the ability to think outside the box, the ability to find and pose a problem; the ability to generate a large number of ideas; flexibility — the ability to produce a variety of ideas; originality — the ability to respond to challenges in a non-standard way; the ability to improve the object by adding details; problem-solving ability, and the ability to analyze and synthesize.
The teacher accompanies students, gives individual recommendations, encourages them to creative activity. The primary task is to independently develop students’ abilities to form new knowledge, skills, and action methods. An important factor in creative learning is the initiative of students. At the same time, the student from the object of pedagogical influence becomes the subject of communication. He is responsible for his activities as well as the teacher for his. Creative learning is a process of constant cooperation between teachers and students.
The educational process is organized as the cooperation of people interested in a common cause. Creative learning has a characteristic feature — the learning process merges with life, with the solution of real creative tasks.